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Specialty Shops Tips (26)

Gallery of Jewels: Be Jeweled

If you're looking for a unique piece of jewelry, you've come to the right place. Gallery of Jewels has semi-precious and costume jewelry by many Bay area (and other) designers. Prices are inexpensive to moderate for most pieces; the selection is huge.

SFHulaGIrl's Profile Photo
May 17, 2004

Cowgirl Creamery: Cheese Whiz

The most recent outpost of Cowgirl Creamery is located in the newly-renovated Ferry Building. The store is bustling with activity as customers line up, particularly during the lunch hour. They are open seven days a week, and also ship cheeses. If you wish to sample any of their cheeses, they are most accommodating.

What to buy Not only do they sell artisan cheeses (goat, cow, and sheep), but figs in Barolo, fig cake with almonds, Laguiole cheese knives, and honey, to name a few of their other offerings. Try the Humboldt Fog -- it's divine!

What to pay Prices vary.

SFHulaGIrl's Profile Photo
Dec 23, 2003

Specialty Shops: City Lights Bookstore

This is a great place to find a ton of beat books and much more. This bookstore has atmosphere and charm. With its creaky floors and little nooks to sit and read, this is a great place to spend a few hours.

What to buy large selection of beat books

Minstrelette's Profile Photo
Jul 02, 2005

Old Shanghai

Chinatown has plenty of shops, filled with plenty of the usual tacky tourist items, and as my eyes glazed over wandering the streets, this particular shop suddenly caught my eye.

Old Shanghai is filled with beautiful home decor items and chinese fashion items as well. The selection here is marvelous and very tasteful, and as the name suggests, is reminiscent of genteel Chinese times gone by. The items I looked at were, I thought, quite inexpensive for what you were getting.

Beautiful beaded purses can be had at about $30.00 or less, and the unusual shell
shell purses caught my eye too - the purses are covered with small squares of mother of pearl, all individually stitched, and I thought a bargain at approx $40.00. There was a large selection of traditional chinese dresses (cheongsams) in beautiful non-traditional modern colors, such as pale blush pink and beige brocade.

The home decor items ranged from hand-carved boxes, to Chinese antiques and the most wonderful silk lanterns and pillow covers in contemporary colors such as aubergine, olive, and taupe.

Even if you aren't buying, this place is totally worth a browse.

madamx's Profile Photo
Aug 18, 2005
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Specialty Shops: Anthropologie

Anthropolie is a chain store with locations throughout the country. They sell everything here, from clothing, house goods, candles (my favorite), books, shoes, home furnishings, kitchen cabinet door knobs (some of the most interesting I have seen), as well as an assortment of bags and other accessories.

I'm not a big fan of their clothing this just looked cheaply made and too "shabby chick" for my liking, but I totally love their home furnishings and of course their candles. My favorite is the Aloha Orchid which makes our bedroom smell wonderful and reminds us of our trip to Hawaii!!

What to buy I picked up some of my favorite candles, I also bought an interesting book for a present.

What to pay About average

Gypsystravels's Profile Photo
May 07, 2012

Ten Ren Tea: Oriental Tea

The Ten Ren Tea shop is a little oasis for those walking through Chinatown. Stop in and order one of the magnificent teas or a different refreshing beverage.

They sell tea by the box or loose and also sell various tea related items. Take the time to try some tea before you buy it and smell the dried tea leaves.

What to buy I love their green oolong tea although they sell a dozen or so various types of loose tea.

What to pay Their teas are sold by grading (from 1 to 5). A grade 1 tea can cost as much as $120/lb!!! I stick with the grade 3 teas and spend around $17 for a quarter pound. Expensive, yes. But once you taste it, it is well worth it.

Parklife's Profile Photo
Jun 23, 2003

Piedmont Boutique: Stripper Store Extravaganza!

This shop is PACKED with feather boas, stockings, sparkles, sunglasses, funky sequin outfits, wigs, costumes, etc. They had so many different kinds of stockings that they had them on hangers that lined an entire wall. You choose the design you want and they get you your size. It was a bit overwhelming after shopping all day.

What to buy I was too overwhelmed to buy anything.

bottleofdoom's Profile Photo
Mar 17, 2004

Oxenrose: In Need Of A Trim?

This is the place to go if you're in the mood to change your look, whether it be a trim, a drastically different cut, a perm, or a new haircolor. This ultra-trendy salon in Hayes Valley gives you more bang for your buck! I highly recommend Brian; he transformed my black waist-length hair with a bad perm to a layered above-the-shoulder cut in chocolate brown!

What to buy Fudge dyes are their specialty.

What to pay Haircuts start at $40, color at $50, and perms at $75.

SFHulaGIrl's Profile Photo
Jan 22, 2006

Top 5 San Francisco Writers

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"Bagdad by the Bay"
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"San Francisco - My Favorie City - By Default"
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"San Francisco - "It's a free-for-all up there!""
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"SFO ... a declassé love letter to the CITY"
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"San Francisco: Why this heart never leaves"
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Lush: Bath Goodies

Lush sells bath bombs, block soaps, shampoos, perfumes, made with natural ingredients (like bath bombs full of flower petals) and not tested on animals. I have been mail-ordering from them for awhile and I was excited to finally visit their store. The staff was really nice and threw in a free soap :)

What to buy Lush has some really unique items like bubble bars (bubble bath in block form, just break off a piece and throw it in your bath), massage bars, and scented waters that are great to mist on your face on a hot day.

What to pay $6-10 for blocks of soap, $5 for bath bombs, $15+ for bottles of shampoo or lotion. Pricy, but you can make them last a long time.

tinyvulture's Profile Photo
May 27, 2004

Passanisi: Plants, Flowers & Pottery

One of a number of places at the San Francisco Flower Mart.

What to buy Fresh flowers at wholesale prices to woo your special someone, of course!!

What to pay They were selling sunflowers for $3/bunch, peonies for $8/bunch, dahlias for $6/bunch, cornflowers for $3/bunch, and (slightly older) white lilies for $3/bunch.

SFHulaGIrl's Profile Photo
Jun 17, 2004

Bombay Bazaar: Chyawanprash for health

I am into natural remedies and supplements and this tip is about one of them - Indian honey/jam called Chyawanprash.
I wrote 'honey/jam' cause I do not have a word for that dark, rich, spicy spread made with 43 ingredients (like clove, cinnamon, asparagus, cherry, liquorice, sandalwood, chestnut.., etc).

It`s a few thousand years old recipe, popular in India and among my Russian friends. :-)

What does it do?
Strengthens immune system, helps with mood swings, fights depression/stress/asthma and low libido, lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart attack/stroke, improves memory/brain function/attention, rejuvenates skin.
But, hey, do not take my word for it. Read more here.

How do you eat it?
15-20 minutes before food.
1/2 to 2 teaspoons twice daily for adults with milk, green tea or just water. It is advised to eat it slowly, taking your time.
Kids older than 4 can eat 1/4 to 1 teaspoon twice daily.
It is recommended to take it for 3 months a year.

If interested, I payed $8 for a 17.65 oz (500g) jar at Bombay Bazaar. This place is located right next to a well-known Bombay Ice Creamery selling very tasty ice-creams ($2.5 for a scoop, 0.50 for a cone). My favorite is definitely a Pistachio.

What to buy Chyawanprash.

What to pay $8 for a jar.

sunshine9689's Profile Photo
Mar 30, 2008

Cheap Thrills: Hot Rod/Punk Style

Really cool shop with lots of stuff. If you like Lip Service and Tripp clothing, this is the place for you. They also have independent label clothing for men and women.

What to buy funky postcards,
denim skirt with red-stitched flames on the back pockets,
hand-crafted leather purse that looks like a vinyl record,
pink/black skull & crossbones wristband

What to pay $106

bottleofdoom's Profile Photo
Feb 01, 2004

Things To Do Near San Francisco

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Barbary Coast Trail

The Barbary Coast Trail is a walking 3.8 mile trail using 170 bronze medallions and arrows embedded into the sidewalks connecting 20 historic sites. The southern end of the Barbary Coast Trail begins...
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Fort Mason

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Crissy Field

The Former Airfield of the Presidio is now a mixed use area for the public now, Crissy Field is anchored by Marina Green on the east side, and Fort Point on the West. The park is home to a multitude...
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Ripley's Believe it or Not!

I was skeptical. Not much of an indoor explorer. But, I truly wanted to say that I had been to Ripley's in San Fran so we got the ticket and went for an adventure. I was not disappointed. It is one...
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49 Mile Drive

In 1938, The San Francisco Downtown Association created the 49 Mile Scenic Drive to highlight the city's beauty and to promote it as a business and tourist destination, so the route began at City...
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Market Street

What Street has given both history and Modernity in San Francisco than Market Street? Market Street is the back bone of San Francisco. To walk the length of the street is to travel throughout time and...
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Getting to San Francisco


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